Introduction to Lafayette, California

Lafayette, California, in Contra Costa County, is 3 miles SW of Walnut Creek, California (center to center) and 10 miles NE of Oakland, California. Surrounded by the Oakland metro area, the city is not isolated. Lafayette is home to some 23,908 residents.

Lafayette History

The Indians of the Saclan tribe of the indigenous Bay Miwok as well some Ohlone Indians were among the first settlers in this region. In the late 1700s, Catholic missions were founded in the region. This foreign invasion led to strife and many years of discord between the Spanish and the Saclan. The area was colonized by the Spanish in 1797 after a battle between the two. The current region of Lafayette was originally a part of a land grant, Rancho Acalanes, which was bought by the American settler Elam Brown in 1848. Benjamin Shreve, the owner of a roadside hotel-general store, applied for a permit to establish a post office in the year 1857 under the name "Centerville," however this name was already in existence; Instead he requested the name 'La Fayette', after a French hero of the American Revolution. By 1890, the name had been modified to "Lafayette".

Lafayette and nearby Attractions

  • Lafayette Branch Contra Costa County Library
  • Lafayette Town Hall
  • Brookwood Reservoir
  • Lafayette Cemetery
  • Brook Street Park

Things To Do In Lafayette

The stunning city of Lafayette has a county library, a town hall, and a cemetery which offers a great opportunity to discover the history of the area. There are three reservoirs, the Brookwood Reservoir, the Leland Reservoir, and the Lafayette Reservoir. There are also two beautiful, pristine creeks, the Lafayette Creek and the Grizzly Creek, where one can go for fishing, boating and picnicking. Visitors can also picnic with family and friends at any of the parks around the city which have shaded picnic tables, benches and drinking fountains for the benefit of the visitors. The city has 16 miles of hiking trails and is also host to the very popular Lafayette Art & Wine Festival.

Lafayette Transportation

The local airport is Metropolitan Oakland International Airport.

Lafayette Higher Education

Diablo Valley College is the local college.


Total Population 24,685
Male Share of the Population 48.6%
Female Share of the Population 51.4%
Senior Citizens 17.6%
Employed Population 16+ 11,173
Age of the Population 44


% of people married 63.1%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 74%
Median Earnings25+ $85,617
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $31,111
Median Earnings With High School Degree $20,160


Median Family Income $176,250
% Above Poverty Level 95.3%
% Below Poverty Level 4.7%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 30 minutes
% Working from Home 10.9%
% Walking and Biking to Work 1.7%
% Using Public Transportation 17.5%


People Living Alone 18.3%
Median Gross Rent $1,656
Median House Value $999,100


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 27%
US/American 0.4%
English 15.5%
Irish 13.4%

Lafayette Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 3 miles SW of Walnut Creek, California (center to center)
Nearest Large City 10 miles NE of Oakland, California
County Contra Costa
Standard Zip Codes 94549, 94596
Phone Area Codes 925
Time Zone Pacific (-8 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 37.885
Longitude -122.116

Lafayette Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 8.3 miles
Jan Temp 44 to 56 F
Apr Temp 49 to 64 F
Jul Temp 55 to 70 F
Oct Temp 54 to 70 F
Annual Precip 25.4 inches
Distance 8.7 miles
Jan Temp 42 to 58 F
Apr Temp 46 to 67 F
Jul Temp 54 to 75 F
Oct Temp 52 to 73 F
Annual Precip 26.3 inches
Distance 10 miles
Jan Temp 39 to 56 F
Apr Temp 43 to 65 F
Jul Temp 60 to 85 F
Oct Temp 52 to 74 F
Annual Precip 23.9 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Danville 42,891 $157,842
Moraga 16,549 $163,951
Orinda 18,390 $213,021
Piedmont 10,957 $247,171
Pleasant Hill 33,842 $108,900
Walnut Creek 65,923 $112,114
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
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Lafayette High Schools

Serves 1,316 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 22.2

Study Online in Lafayette
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